Shinnecock community notes



. Greetings from Shinnecock.

The unexpected snowstorm forced many of us to cancel our New Year’s Eve plans for fear of treacherous travel and so we found ourselves confined to the Rez and scattered amongst several local celebrations.

But for some, the holiday evening would have been better spent at home. It’s easy to fall into the superstitious belief that how New Year’s Eve goes is what to expect from the rest of the year. If there is any truth to that, then 2009 will be a year of learning.

When certain spirits are about, and encouraged by those who mean us only wrong, we may say or do things we come to regret, but in the heat of the moment we care nothing of the difference. Then dawn finds us haunted by a moral hangover, knowing that our better self should have reacted differently. Here are some lessons that could be learned from events seen, heard, or experienced on New Year’s Eve:

“Let it go,” was the phrase so lavishly thrown about, as if a mere pea had fallen to the floor. However, a history of doing just that has shown that being indignant sometimes remains. Last summer, for instance, I learned that honest dialog could bring peace of mind just from knowing I’d been heard.

So, instead of indulging in the rumors that have begun to crisscross the Rez, feeding on the happenings of one cold, stark night, perhaps we should remind ourselves that we can never be fully aware of another’s travels or intentions—I have not walked in your moccasins and you have not walked in mine. And until our paths cross or intertwine it is not our mission to criticize another traveler but only to perfect our own journey.

But sometimes it takes going back the beginning to figure out where we need to be and the greater the pressure the greater the growth. Some of us will become diamonds and others will crumble to dust. It’s all about how we choose to live in the midst of life’s turmoils.

Perhaps the most obvious lesson of the new year is that a snowstorm on a holiday, or any day for that matter, is the Creator’s way of telling us if you don’t absolutely have to drive anywhere, then don’t!

A diamond in her own right, Elder Florence Crippen devoted her life to caring for her two brothers, Frank and Lawrence Crippen, who were shell-shocked in World War II. Predeceased by his brother Frank, Lawrence died on January 25, 2007 when the 1930s family homestead on Hillcrest Avenue went up in flames.

Prior to this tragedy, Miss Florence had invested her life savings into a lifelong dream—a home on Shinnecock, the land of her ancestors. But because of a dispute with the manufacturer of the company from which she chose a modular home, her dream on Shinnecock remains unfinished and uninhabitable until she can come up with thousands of dollars more.

We respectfully ask for the prayers and financial support of our neighboring communities to help Miss Florence move home to Shinnecock.

Monetary donations, organized by her nephew, Phillip D. Brown IV, made at any Bank of America branch, to the account Phillip Brown IV, for the Florence Crippen Building Fund; or sent to c/o Phillip Brown IV, Florence Crippen Building Fund, Box 97, Southampton, NY 11968 would be greatly appreciated by the family and by our Nation.

For more information, contact Dave Raynor at (516) 443-3477 or (631) 283-4685 or visit, where progress on the house can also be viewed.

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